Speeding up your metabolism is one of the best ways to lose weight--it's just that simple! The faster your metabolism runs, the more calories you burn every day. The more calories you burn, the quicker your body starts burning off fat instead of just the energy in your bloodstream.
Want a faster metabolism? Do the following things to speed it up:
1. Get Moving
Don't expect workouts alone to help you lose weight and get in shape! You can spend an hour or more in the gym every day, but that won't counteract the effects of sitting down for six to 10 hours a day. Move around more by walking to the water cooler every half-hour, taking the stairs, parking at the opposite end of your parking lot and taking a walk over your lunch break. The more you move, the more you burn!
2. Lift Heavy
Women should lift heavy weight just like men. Lifting weights shreds muscle fiber, forcing your body to use energy to recover and rebuild the muscle tissue. A weight-training session will raise your metabolic rate for hours after your workout, and it will stimulate your body to release anabolic (growth) hormones that will speed up fat burning.
3. Don't Overdo It On Cardio
While cardio is good for weight loss, too much cardio can slow your metabolism. Focus on a high-intensity cardio workout (sprints, martial arts, HIIT, etc.), and spend most of your gym time lifting weights instead of jogging or slow cycling.
4. Don't Cut Too Much
Did you know that low-calorie and low-carb diets have a metabolism-slowing effect? You may lose some body fat, but you'll end up regaining all the weight thanks to your slowed metabolism. This is because your body has a natural survival instinct that kicks in when you're not eating enough or maintaining a properly-balanced diet. If you're going to cut carbs or calories, do it slowly, and make time for a "cheat meal" once a week to keep your body working.
No, not on your spouse, but on your diet! Studies have proven that the occasional "cheat meal" (meals that are high in calories, carbs and fat) can keep your metabolism blazing without ruining your diet. Enjoy one "cheat meal" a week, and it will prevent slowdowns that come with dieting.
6. Eat More
In this case, we're not talking about eating more food, but rather a greater variety of food. The average North American eats just 20 or so foods, while people who live longer tend to eat upwards of 200. Okinawans -- the longest-lived people in the world -- eat up to 400 different foods! While a garden salad is a good start, it's time to break out of your rut and find new foods to add to your menu. Don't be content with less than 150 different foods in your home!
Drinking water is the key to a blazing metabolism. If you are dehydrated, your metabolic rate slows down. Drink no less than 4 quarts of water per day, not including what you drink in juice, coffee or tea.
8. Stop Dieting
There's a difference between dieting and eating healthy. If you're on a diet and it's not working to promote weight loss, take a break and start eating healthy. Cut calories a bit, balance out your food intake (ex: 50 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 20 percent fats) and do more exercise. Your metabolism should bounce back in no time!
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.